How can I disable bells/visualbells in vim?

I've tried:

set noeb
set novb

.. but nothing has changed afaik.

Just to be clear, I'm referring to the visual bell I get in vim when I do something that doesn't do anything, for exmaple pressing ESC in normal mode, or pressing h in on col 0.

1 Answer 1


To disable the bell altogether, you need to

  • enable vim's internal visual bell¹, with set visualbell (= set vb);
  • set the effect of the vim visual bell to do nothing, with set t_vb=

(This is explained in the documentation of 'visualbell', but not very clearly.)

¹ Even with novisualbell, you might see a visual bell if vim emits a bell control sequence (usually \a) and the terminal is configured to flash rather than make a sound.

  • 4
    Note that you'll have to add 'set t_vb=' to your .gvimrc as well if you're using gvim. May 18, 2011 at 0:17
  • Actually only :set novisualbell helped me for jvi in Netbeans.
    – stephanmg
    Jan 15, 2020 at 13:55

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